By Miriam Garcia Desacada (The Freeman)

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines — At least two residents of Caibiran town in Biliran were reported to have been recruited by two yet unidentified suspected members of ISIS rebels.

This was confirmed by special investigator Ben Panican of the National Bureau of Investigation-Region 8, saying that his office has been monitoring, since a month ago, two Pakistani nationals who were reported to have recruited some town residents to join the Islamic rebels in the Middle East.

Panican, however, did not reveal the identity of the suspected ISIS “recruiters” and the names of the two male “recruits.”

He told The Freeman: “We are still conducting our monitoring against any possible entry of suspected ISIS terrorists, as mandated to all law enforcement agencies, but we could no longer monitor the presence of the Pakistani nationals in Biliran province.”

NBI-8 supervising agent Bernard Dela Cruz, for his part, said there were other reports saying that the presence of the Pakistanis in Biliran had something to do with religious activities, although he refused to divulge what kind of religious groups they allegedly belonged to.

Dela Cruz, however, assured the public that as of this time in Eastern Visayas, the NBI-8 has not monitored yet any presence of what one could confirm as terrorists.

Mayor Eulalio Maderazo of Caibiran, in a phone interview, had expressed alarm over these reports of alleged recruitment for ISIS rebels.  Maderazo said he will convene an urgent meeting with the Municipal Peace and Order Council to discuss the matter so that they could ask for help from the police and other law enforcement authorities.

“I don’t have knowledge of any ISIS recruitment in my town, but I will look into this matter,” Maderazo told The Freeman.

He added that there has been continuing arrival of foreigners to his town and Biliran province, and all he knew was that they are tourists visiting some spots. (FREEMAN)

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